Friday, July 26, 2013

My Heart

Motherhood is the most painful, most difficult, beautiful and wonderful joy-filled experience of my life.

There are days I come home from work and Evie barely notices. I race home in a hot car, not wanting to miss a minute I could be spending with her.  There's sweat beading up on my back, and I'm bone tired, but it doesn't matter.  I whip the car into the driveway, and turn off the ignition. Get to the front door and turn my key in the lock. I can hardly wait to see her face. I don't care that I smell like a trucker, my hair is greasy, and all I've eaten today are a stale donut and three cups of coffee. And I know she won't care either.  I turn the key, and swing open the door.  "Helllllloooooo!" I yell to the house in general.  She looks around the corner, and sees that it's me.  And then she continues putting the alphabet magnets on the fridge. And my heart sinks so deep in my chest. But I pretend it doesn't. Like I have to keep up appearances with my 15-month old. So I walk over, all cool, like that's how we always do it, drop my keys and bag on the first surface I see, and we line up magnet letters on the fridge.

Then, that night at bedtime, I'm redeemed.  I'm rocking her, she's snuggled into my chest, clutching her two blankies.  I can smell her hair, and we sing our songs. She's still and cozy, smelling me while I'm smelling her. After a while, I lay her down, but instead she rolls over and grabs my hand. "Mama." A sigh of relief.  Ok, Phew! I think. "You still need me? Ok, good, cuz I still need you too!" And I don't hesitate for a second. I pick her up and we sing a little more.

Being her mama is the most wild ride. I worry that sometimes I need her more than she needs me and the love I have for her sometimes terrifies me.  For those of you who have not yet experienced this thing called motherhood, it truly is like having your heart live outside your body.  There is more joy and more pain simultaneously in this season of my life than I have experienced total in the 27 years leading up to it.  It can be unbearably difficult to navigate. To wonder if the choices you're making today are going to leave an indelible mark on this tiny person's life.

This is how it goes:
Do I work too much? Do I schedule activities for her too much? Or do we not do enough? We've never done that damn Gymboree thing. Or a single Library Story Time or Mommy and Me thing.  Because you're supposed to do lots of enriching activities to develop their little brains, right? But then, downtime is important too, and kids today are over-scheduled, right? Should we be singing to her more? We kind of forgot about nursery rhymes. Dangit, those are important aren't they? I don't think I brushed her six teeth today. Crap.  How many ounces of water should she be drinking a day? Dunno. I'll Google it.  And then it's 2 am. 

I just have to offer up my worries, my fears, and my anxieties and know that my life is not my own. She is not my own. Neither was she. I get them on loan for as long as I get them and all the fear, anxiety, and irrational worrying in the world won't change that.  I'm not in control. He has far better plans. Thank God for that.


  1. I love this post so much! Thank you for your honesty. I get so overwhelmed with these kind of thoughts...knowing that I am responsible for this sweet little life, but also knowing he is on loan to me. Trying to soak up each little moment and wondering if I'm ever doing the right thing. It's so good to know we are surrounded by like-minded mamas that are going through the same thing. :-)

    1. Thank you, Kellie. It is so incredibly hard, isn't it? I'm glad we're all going through the same things too. It's always just good to know you're not alone.

      P.S. It was so great to get to see Ted get baptized this morning! Welcome to the church, little guy!

    2. Thanks Corinna! By far, my best parenting day yet!